Oldham host successive National League games at Boundary Park on Saturday when Woking visit.
Micky Mellon will hope his side can round off a good week thus far following their impressive 2-0 win over Barnet in midweek courtesy of a James Norwood brace from the spot.
They were both timely strikes coming on either side of the interval, whilst Norwood’s influence on this Latics side has only grown as the season has progressed, now having netted 16 times in the National League this season.
The win also saw encouraging debuts from Sai Sachdev and Tom Conlon. Both were thrusted into the first eleven by Mellon whilst they made positive contributions to the performance.
Oliver Hammond meanwhile made his debut from the bench late on at Boundary Park, whilst newest and now final addition in the window Andrew Dallas is likely to don the Latics strip for the first time on Saturday.
It was a vital victory meanwhile, a fourth successive and a third consecutive clean sheet. The gap to the Bees was closed to just ten points with a game in hand, whilst Latics will look to secure a third successive home win for the first time since the 2017/18 campaign.
Woking have had a turbulent campaign to say the least, with Michael Doyle now the third man to warm the hot seat this season at the Kingfield Stadium.
Darren Sarll was dismissed in early November after picking up only six wins from 19, whilst Ian Dyer assumed the role as caretaker boss before Doyle’s appointment late in 2023.
Woking meanwhile have work to do following a third successive league defeat at the hands of league leaders Chesterfield in midweek. Spireites talisman Will Griggs’ close range effort was enough to secure a 1-0 win at the SMH Group Stadium.
The defeat is the latest result part of a winless run of five since Doyle’s appointment, making it a tough start for the Irishman thus far. It also saw Woking fall into the drop zone for the first time this campaign.
There will surely be a sense of urgency about Doyle, who will desperately want to pick up points and fast with Woking’s last win a 2-1 triumph at Dorking in mid-December.
The task has been made more difficult meanwhile following talisman Padraig Amond’s swift departure, Doyle and his men certainly have work to do to change their fortunes.
Just one win in their last ten will be an issue high on the docket for Doyle, whilst that win is the only away victory in their last six on the road before they make the trip to face one of the inform National League sides.
Dennon Lewis has been a standout for Woking this season, despite just three league goals. The wide man’s tricky feet and sharp burst of pace make him a dangerous weapon for any opposing side to deal with.
Working predominantly off the left, Lewis has the impressive ability to go left or right when facing up his man, whilst his wicked delivery on either foot adds another tool to his arsenal.
His delightfully chipped cross to the back post on his supposed weaker foot to find Lewis Walker’s head at Fylde a prime example of his creative abilities, though his two-footedness makes Lewis a capable finisher.
Similar finishes on his left in the wins over Eastleigh and Dorking have shown Lewis to be clinical when it counts, coupled with his pace, the winger poses a huge threat to National League defences.
In the dugout
Following his appointment the week before Christmas, Irish born Doyle has found his first five fixtures challenging in his first capacity as manager.
Before joining Doyle had been a youth coach at Portsmouth, but more notably assistant manager to Ian Burchnall at both Notts County and Forest Green.
Their time together at Notts would revive fonder memories, where in the 21/22 season in the National League Doyle helped Burchnall steer the club to a strong fifth place finish before being edged out by Grimsby Town in the Quarter-Final of the Playoffs.
Burchnall then quickly moved setting and brought Doyle with him to Forest Green for the following season where matters did not progress as quickly, just 11 wins in 37 in all competitions saw an unfortunate end at the New Lawn in January 2023.
Doyle now has taken the jump to the hot seat at a club in need of stability and results. Since his arrival two 0-0 draws with Maidenhead and Aldershot in successive games and the battling performance at Chesterfield saw improved spirit among the group.
The Irishman is meanwhile still searching for his first win at the club and will hope it arrives soon. Three consecutive defeats will perhaps put Doyle under pressure though time must be afforded to the new man in charge if he wants to make relegation an afterthought.
The referee will be David McNamara, supported by assistants Niall Felton and Jason Roberts. The fourth official is Jonathan Maskrey.
Match coverage and information
Live audio commentary is available on Latics Player, guiding you through the match.
Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC
As this game is being played within the blocked broadcast hours stipulated by UEFA, live streaming will not be available through National League TV for supporters in the UK. The game will be available overseas.
As always, we will endeavour to ensure confirmation of the line-up is published as soon as possible.
However, supporters should note that team sheets in the National League are exchanged 15 minutes later than in the EFL and as a result, the line-up is likely to be published slightly later than in previous seasons.